The Northern Maine Community College staff is making plans to ensure a safe and productive start to the upcoming fall semester, which will begin as planned on August 31st. The planning is guided by two important principles: safety for students, faculty, and staff; and the delivery of a quality educational experience for students.

Making the health and wellness of students and employees the top priority, several strategies implemented this spring will continue into the fall semester. Some examples include: required face coverings, social distancing in both the academic and residential settings, and enhanced cleaning techniques. Students living on campus will also be limited to one student per room. Finally, working with the Maine Community College System, NMCC is developing appropriate and effective screening and other protocols.

“Our community’s need for skilled workers is not diminishing, it’s increasing, and we’re confident that we can deliver proper instruction and training while protecting the health of our students, staff, and the families supporting them,” said NMCC President Timothy Crowley. “Recent developments in on-campus technology, combined with a very proactive safety strategy make this possible.”

The programs requiring face-to-face learning will incorporate both live and online lectures with labs, simulation and clinical experiences for instruction. However, by significantly increasing the number of courses offered online, NMCC is able to reduce the number of students on campus during the regular academic day. In addition to online instruction, some programs will utilize hybrid instruction, which allows students to be on campus for only the first few weeks before transitioning to fully remote learning strategies.

After the spring semester instruction needed to be adjusted due to the health concerns, faculty worked diligently to move lectures to the online environment using the Brightspace learning management platform, which had been implemented during the fall semester. With students and faculty now familiar with the Brightspace platform, adapting additional lectures to online instruction will be much easier.

All student support services and facilities will be available to students during the fall semester, with limited access due to safety guidelines recommended by the Maine CDC and established executive orders from the governor.

NMCC provides over 30 programs of study in the trades, business, liberal studies, and nursing & allied health. Ninety-eight percent of graduates are either employed in their field or enrolled to further their education within six months of graduation.

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NMCC Receives Bus Redirected from PI Loop

This month Northern Maine Community College received a mini passenger bus as a donation from the discontinued local transportation organization, PI Loop. The 16-passenger vehicle, which will be wrapped in the college’s colors and logo, will serve multiple purposes on campus and in the greater Aroostook community.

“We’re immensely appreciative to receive this piece of equipment. Several departments on campus will benefit from the bus in terms of training, as well as group transportation,” said NMCC President Tim Crowley.

NMCC currently offers nursing courses in Houlton, and historically, students have carpooled and caravanned between locations. The new bus will allow students to travel together while maintaining social distancing and saving money for both the students and the college. During winter months, the buses will help keep students off the road during hazardous weather conditions.

Throughout the year, entire classes or organized groups of students travel to businesses within the county and beyond to get first-hand experience in their field; additionally, students living on campus travel en masse to donate time to a local charitable cause each fall. Having a bus available reduces the barriers and amount of coordination for these types of trips.

The distinct model of bus also allows students to train towards their Class B license, and may enhance the capabilities of the Commercial Driving Academy and other related trade departments on campus.

Beyond campus, President Crowley discussed working with UMPI and local hospitals to see how the vehicle can support their organizations. “While the bus will live on the NMCC campus, we’d like to find ways to support the needs of the community. That was the original intent of this gift, and we’ll work to preserve and uphold that,” Crowley said.

For more information about Northern Maine Community College, or their programs related to transportation, please visit nmcc.edu.

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